Ricky Gervais, whose scorched-earth hosting of the Golden Globes three years running made him the talk of the Hollywood — and not all in a good way — won’t be there Sunday.
“To be the most feared man in Hollywood for three hours is such fun…It came from character. Everything I have ever done has come from a character,” Gervais told disappointed TV critics at Winter TV Press Tour 2013, where he’d come to plug his controversial new Netflix show “Derek.”
“That was such a tiny part of my life. I literally treat it like three hours’ work -- do you know what I mean?” he asked critics.
“As big and global as it became, usually, you have to actually murder some people to get that many column inches,” he said.
“But, you know, win, lose, or draw, the next hour I was writing. The next day after the Golden Globes, I was writing a new series or a new standup.”
Gervais is not attending Sunday’s Globes ceremony — he says he has to rush back to, well, somewhere, to begin filming the Muppets movie next week; Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will fill his shoes.
In “Derek,” Gervais plays a man who works in a nursing home and seems slow mentally. Netflix has not announced a launch date on the series which, before it unspooled in the UK last year, was criticized by disability-rights advocates, and at least one fellow comic, according to BBC reports.
(It’s not the first time Gervais has been blasted on this topic. Before the show debuted, for instance, he was chastized for using a slur on his Twitter feed that often references people with Downs Syndrome.)
Gervais has insisted the Derek characer is not “disabled,” though “not the smartest tool in the box.”
“I think the risk is people not watching it and making assumptions,” Gervais told TV critics at the tour.
“Derek is innocent. He’s child-like in his view of the world,” Gervais said, adding that he’s been developing the character for nearly a dozen years — BBC reported the character of Derek Noakes first appeared in Gervais’s work in 2001.
“But I didn’t know where to place him. Originally, he was an autograph hunter and it was going to be a satire on media — you know, ‘out of the mouth of babes,’” Gervais told TV critics.
But, “I’ve done enough about that. I sort of want to leave the media behind,” he continued. “I’ve got the swipes at fame and all of those things out of my system and now it’s about the thing that really matter.”
“It just clicked on day that he should be in an old people’s home…About six of my family — of the womenfolk — are carers, either for the elderly or Alzheimer’s suffers or whatever people with problems, halfway houses, that sort of thing. I’ve always written about what I know.”
“Derek,” Gervais said, is “the first time I remember feeling this excited and proud of a project since the original ‘Office’ — that’s the truth of it.”